I saw a fitness quote somewhere on the internet (I think it was Instagram) that said something along the lines of “even if you’re having a bad work out, you’re still beating everyone who is sat on the couch.” Now, whilst I fully understand what the author of this nugget of information is trying to say, I don’t condone comparing yourself to others as it’s just a bullshit recipe for disaster, therefore I have changed it to the following;
“Even if you have a shit practice session at pole, everything hurts and you haven’t got a pretty picture for the ‘gram, at least you got off your arse and practised!”
It’s no secret that I fucking love a good pole practice session. Be it on my todd or with my pole pals, having just an hour to spend on the pole is an absolute treat. There’s no better feeling sometimes than smashing the back doors off your pole goals at practice and feeling like a god damn warrior of a human. However sometimes practice sessions don’t always feel like an absolute treat, sometimes they feel tedious, pointless and overall like an utter sack of shit. Your body just doesn’t seem to want to play ball and nothing feels like it has been achieved. However do not fear! If there is one thing I have learnt in my four years of pole practices it’s that just getting yourself to practice and trying your best will up your pole game, even if the session pisses you off because it has felt like a waste of time, I assure you that it isn’t.
First off, just by another session of drills and training, your strength will undoubtedly improve. You may not see improvements instantly, but busting out those hench, strength manoeuvrers such as Shoulder Mounts and Handsprings take months, if not years of trying, and every little practice each time will get you closer to nailing them. Also practising other strength drills such as choppers and seated climbs will all add up to increasing your overall strength eventually, so if you don’t see any improvement on your strength moves for a while don’t abandon hope, you’ll get there!
It’s not just strength moves that will gradually improve with each practice, your regular pole moves will too. When drilling your utter bastard nemesis moves, even if you don’t quite manage to achieve it at practice, you would have inched that bit closer to it. I am still, three years on embarking on my quest to nail the perfect Superman and whilst I am not quite there yet, I am definitely closer to perfecting the move than I was this time last year, and I’m bloody happy about that.
As well as inching you that bit closer to your goals, any practice session, even a shitty one, is fantastic for building up conditioning to pole pain and overall familiarity around the pole. I’m not going to pretend to be some hard motherfucker who either embraces pole pain or doesn’t feel it (bloody bullshitters if you ask me), I think it stings like a bitch, I scream like hell and don’t like it one bit. But I will say that certain areas, especially my thighs and back of the knees, have toughened up to the burn over the years as a result it hurts less there. We all want pole to hurt less, and repeated practice is a cracking way to make that happen.
Even if it feels like you’re not progressing at practice, just practising itself will prevent you from the dreaded pole fear of regressing. By still hammering away at pole, even if it feels like you’re plateauing, at least you’re not going backwards. Sometimes life gets in the way and launches curve balls at us, we don’t have time for pole and a regression unfortunately happens (believe me I have been there) but don’t let it hold you back. Recently at practice one of my pole buddies Sarah, who had to take several breaks from pole, smashed out not only a clean Aerial Shoulder Mount for the first time in four years, but also an unassisted Ayesha too! I was so fucking proud of her for after taking a break and regressing slightly, getting firmly back on the pole, working her arse off and getting her strength back. She’d had her Weetabix that morning I can tell you!
Also, even if you have regressed, you can’t see any improvement in your strength, flexibility or moves that you’re trying to nail and everything pole related feels like it’s all going down the shitter, you can still give yourself a solid pat on the back for getting your arse in gear and practising. Just summoning the motivation to train some days is a feat of wonder in itself, especially if you’re hanging, the weather is shit outside or if you just fancy hibernating in a Netflix and snacks fort. At least if all else fails, you can praise yourself for being a good egg and training as best as you could. The only bad practice session is the one you didn’t have!
Finally, pole practice is an excuse to put on some sexy as fuck shoes and get dancing. I find the most fun practices are often the ones where I have enough space and time to ditch tricks and strength training, dig out my Pleasers and knee pads and have a good old fashioned 30-40 minutes of floor fuckery and flow. Flow is great for working up a sweat, you’ll have a cracking video for the ‘gram and who doesn’t love channelling their inner Kitty Velour once in a while?
The moral of the story here is not to be disheartened if you’re practice session doesn’t go as planned or you don’t feel like you have achieved much- remember, you got up, showed up, didn’t give up and the only shit practice session is the one you don’t have!